Having trouble getting started? Some ideas…

So after (while?) really wrestling with not knowing why I’ve had trouble with self-discipline lately, I realized a lot of it comes down to starting well. If I start well, I can end well. That initial momentum can provide a push that lasts through most day to day projects.

The question then was (and continues to be), how can I start well?

Well, among other things, I think I’ve identified at least two areas where I have trouble, two areas where I can improve.

  • Problem #1: I don’t know where to start. Part of the solution: Start by figuring out what I need to do. Start by figuring out the first, say, three steps.
  • Problem #2: I don’t know where to end. Part of the solution: Limit myself to something small, something I can cross off a list. Limit what I have to do to get started so starting doesn’t feel as intimidating.

I noticed yesterday, for instance, that if I can simply jot down what’s happening, note what I need to get started, the bare minimum, I can more easily resolve to push through that initiation, startup phase. From there, it’s just a matter of repeating that process as much as necessary until the job’s done.

For me, I guess the hardest part is not knowing what I’m supposed to do exactly. When I’m in that phase, I tend to procrastinate. But when I know exactly what I need to do and know I can complete it, instead of it becoming an ongoing, loose end, I can start well.

So if I don’t know, the start, for me at least, is writing out the essential first step. Seeing it, its beginning and end.